It's time to leave "JoePa" alone.
That's how Montoursville native Jim Taylor feels.
"They are picking on a dead guy," Taylor said of the legendary Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno, who died in January.
PHILIP A. HOLMES/Sun-Gazette
Jim Taylor thinks the focus on late Penn State coach Joe Paterno is unfair.
"They can't do any more to Joe than what they already did," Taylor said, referring to action recently taken by Penn State University officials and the sanctions imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
"What more can be done? They moved his statue. They took away his wins. They fired him. They crucified him in the papers," Taylor, a Hughesville resident for nearly 40 years, said.
"I'm sure if you got into Mr. Paterno's head, he was sorry that this thing even got started. I'm sure he probably wanted to put a stop to it, and someone up the ladder wouldn't let him," Taylor said.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Each Monday, the Sun-Gazette asks somebody in the area, "What's on your mind?" If you have a topic you would like to share, contact Alyssa Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org; Savannah Dempsey at email@example.com; or Philip A. Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Taylor was commenting on the sex abuse scandal that has engulfed the campus since former coach Jerry Sandusky's arrest last year and his subsequent conviction in June.
"The students are taking the grief of it. That shouldn't be because none of them had anything to do with any of this," Taylor, a mill operator in Montgomery, said.
"Penn State students are getting ridiculed for something someone else did," he added.
"When they say (cheer) 'We are Penn State,' they ARE Penn State, and they shouldn't be crucified for something that happened 10 years ago," he remarked.
Taylor is no Penn State fan. His only tie with the school is a friend who is a graduate of the university.
"He graduated from Penn State and he is very proud of the alumni up there. He was there four years, and a Penn State degree got him to where he is today," Taylor said of his friend.
The school is going through a very painful chapter right now, but it is still a great university, Taylor said.
"I'm told that when you graduate from certain colleges, you will make $35,000. When you graduate from Penn State, you make $65,000. That's a big difference," Taylor said.
"I feel sorry for the Penn State students going to school this fall. They need to keep their heads up. They are there to get a good education and have good memories," said Taylor, a father of two who has gone to perhaps four Penn State football games in his life.
"Time heals all wounds," and Penn State is a great place to get a good education, he said.